Still only 16 years old, Le Cheminant won yesterday’s windswept Pembroke Triathlon for his second triumph in as many Olympic-distance races, having edged victory last month in a Rocquaine event missing several key contenders.
He needed another level of performance to take this one.
Virtually all the big names were present at Pembroke and he finally got that long-awaited duel with James Travers, a prolific winner of domestic events in recent seasons.
Le Cheminant led the 1,500m sea swim by 6sec. to set up a real ding-dong battle on the 40km west-coast bike, where Travers overtook him at Grandes Rocques and established a significant lead initially.
A strong climb up L’Eree hill helped the teenager close the gap and soon lead again, and though Travers regained the front, the powerhouse cyclist held no more than 30sec. at final transition.
After that, over almost 10km of coastal paths, a pacey Le Cheminant closed down Travers swiftly and already led by nearly a minute at half-way.
He eventually posted a 2hr 6min. 31sec. finish, precisely 3min. clear of his rival.
The following positions proved well fought as ever.
Dave Mosley, who was Le Cheminant’s closest rival at Rocquaine, produced a strong bike and run to come out third in 2-10-01.
Chris Norman and Ove Svejstrup – the quickest cyclist on show – completed a quality top-five, with the evergreen Alan Rowe not far outside the main mix.
‘I’m really happy, to say it’s my second Olympic as well, to get my second win,’ Le Cheminant said.
‘I was putting myself up against everyone. Not having “Trav” or Chris or Ove out of the race, and just everyone being here, is really nice as a benchmark to see where I am going into winter training.’
Now, with the mainstream Olympic-distance season already complete, Le Cheminant is looking to break the hour barrier in the sprint-distance event at next month’s Granite Man.
‘I’d like to get sub-1hr and then just get good winter training for the Island Games qualifier next year and maybe do a few races away.’
The competition for top woman proved less clear-cut.
Chloe Truffitt, Magda Murphy and Sammy Yendell produced creditable performances across three different options.
The improving Truffitt arguably deserves the most plaudits, having blown away the competition over the full Olympic distance with a very decent 2-26-44 clocking.
In only her second Olympic-distance race, she finished 17min. clear of nearest competitor Adele Perrot.
Murphy tackled the aquabike and, without the need to run afterwards, had dismounted roughly 1-30 ahead of Truffitt.
Meanwhile, Yendell took runner-up overall in the sprint-distance event, clocking 1-18-07 to finish 5-30 down on top man Jon Greenfield.